tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC July 26, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on "world news," tell it to washington. americans up in arms. congressional phones ringing off the hook. websites crashing. you have a message about the debt deadlock and we are sending it tonight. and our top political team weighs in with something they have never said before. travel alert. a new warning about terrorism for americans traveling abroad. we'll tell you where and why. mcdonald's makeover. slimming down the happy male. michelle obama applauds, but how much sugar and fat are still in it? and what about the toy? healthy living. what is the life-saving test your doctor should give you? and more of half of them are not. and, do you agree with what
scientists say is the absolutely saddest movie of all time? we want your vote. good evening. and we hear you. americans are telling washington what you think tonight about the long and dangerous political battle over the debt ceiling. frustration boiling over, fed up messages pouring into congress from every state, flooding the phonelines, crashing the websites. and with the deadline only one week away, as you can see on our clock, the finger pointing is continuing, the brinksmanship is dragging on. and abc's jim avila tonight on the growing anger in america and anxiety. >> reporter: make no mistake, the nation's capital is on email and phone line overload. this is what you get when you dial the white house. the masses telling washington, deadlock on the nation's debt is
not act semiable. >> we're in the thousands here. the staff is besieged. >> reporter: calling the people they elected to congress. >> move away from the rigid position. >> reporter: and the senate. some pushing a specific agenda. >> i'll pass it along to the senator. >> reporter: but most just wanting a solution. >> this is a mess. you guys have made a mess of everything. fix it. >> reporter: l lt night's prime the time rhetorical duel between the democratic president and republican speaker of the house >> i called yesterday. i'll call again tomorrow. i'll call as many times as it takes. >> reporter: today, abc news heard from many, telling washington on our twitter and facebook pages, like this, from new jersey. e-mailed mine last night. demanded they act like responsible adults instead of spoiled children. and at our tell washington cameras across the country -- >> i n nd you to meet in the middle. make a deal. >> let's just start all over. because nobody can make up their minds anymore. >> you're here to represent us, you're not here to sit there and bicker and fight.
>> reporter: in fact, the latest a b bc news/"washington post" p shows the highest level of anger in years. 80% angry or dissatisfied with washington. and 62% favoring a compromise of spending cuts and tax increases. anger now morphing to worry. half think their personal portfolios are at risk -- and today, for the first time, a prominent financial analyst says he isn't selling, but he can no longer argue with those so stressed they want out of the market. >> if you're a small investor, there's absolutely nothing wrong in moving to the side lines on a short term basis. to wait until the dust settles. >> he's a respected analyst. but is he the only one saying this? >> reporter: we've been asking for two weeks now, and he is the first to say, yes, it is possible, if you are either a retiree, going to be retiring very soon or if you have somebody who is going to go to college soon, you want to protect the assets and you're nervous about it, it's okay to move them to safer ground right now.
>> all right, first time we have heard that. and as we said, americans are talking all across the country, and so are we. but a couple of noteses right n. some things are settled in these talks. no new taxes, not even on the rich. cuts of $1.2 trillion. so, the big remaining question? should the president be forced to commit to still more cuts before the presidential election? we gathered our powerhouse political team, abc's george ststhanopoulos here in new york, jon karl and jake tapper in washington and all three told me they have never seen anything like this before. >> reporter: with just about a week to go, none of the leaders, none of them, not the president, not the speaker of the house, not the democratic leader of the senate, know how this is going to turn out. right now, there are no votes to pass anything. >> so, you are saying that the white house has no idea -- >> >> reporter: how this is going to play out? absolutely not. >> they have a plan?
>> reporter: nonon at all. i have never seen a situation like this in 20 years in this town where nobody knows how it's going to end. >> republicans get to have their fight next year, right, in any case. we have fight about taxes in this country during an election year. why make the debt ceiling an issue? why make it about the debt ceiling as opposed to the fact that we're going to elect a president? >> reporter: because it's working for them right now. >> reporter: and diane, the question is, you got to force congress to do this. the republicans want to force congress to, and the president, to come together and pass a plan that would significantly cut government spending, even far more than they're talking about right now. >> reporter: the democratic leader in the senate, harry reid, and president obama last night, wouldn't be talking about accepting up to $2.7 trillion in spending cuts if they weren't being forced to by the threat of default. >> reporter: that's right. and in fact, you could argue,
house republicans have already won the organizemeargument, bec araroff the table in the short-term and we are debating how much should the government cut in spending, not whether or not the government should be cutting at all. >> jon karl what is your advice to the american citizen? >> reporter: get engaged. understand this issue. and, yes, even as the president said, put a little pressure on your member of congress to get in there and actually make the tough decisions. >> jake? >> reporter: we have faced tougher times before as a nation and i'm sure we'll get through this, but it sure does look bleak. i agree with jon, though. it is important for every american to get involved, because the way -- with the situation we're in right now, only the most energized get involved and that doesn't necessarily create a conducive situation for compromise and for both parties trying to find common ground. >> so, whichever way you feel, call your congressman and your
senator? >> reporter: before you do that, put yourself in the shoes and the heart and the mind of the person you disagree with most and then see if you can find the common ground. >> again, our conversation today totoo along with yours, as the clock ticks down. and now, we tell you about a new terror alert, today, for americans heading overseas in this, the peak of the summer travel season. the alert warns of a heightened security risk and types it back to that raid that killed osama bin laden. abc's justice department expert pierre thomas has been talking to his intelligence sources. >> reporter: al qaeda's vow of reverge for osama bin laden's killing is no idle threat. >> tourists, pepele working in other cities. it's probably a lot easier than coming back to attack washington or new york. >> reporter: the state department warns of an enhanced potential for anti-american violence, given the death of osama bin laden. current information suggests that al qaeda and affiliated organizations continue too plan terrorist attacks.
sources tell abc news that after bin laden's killing, al qaeda's new leader told operatives to target americans wherever they can be found. not just the u.s. homeland. according to the state department, americans should be concerned about suicide operations, assasainations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings. u.s. officials are mindful that bin laden had encouraged leaders to attack the u.s. by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. >> there is a desire to do an attack, and therefore americans if they are at home or abroad need to take that into account, as well as the new guidance from al qaeda to itself to attack overseas americans. >> reporter: and there is growing concern about the reach of al qaeda affiliates overseas, in yemen and the emerging threat from somalia. a senior al qaeda leader recently killed in somalia was carrying computer files indicating the group was discussing mumbai style attacks on low items in europe. today, this warning from the new nominee to head the national
counterterrorism center. >> probably the next most significant terrorist threat may emanate from the al qaeda presence in somalia. >> reporter: diane, at least 40 americans have gone to somalia to fight and train in recent years. the worry is that some of them could be directed to attack here at home or overseas, which i i what the state department is concerned about tonight. >> reporting in from washington, our pierre thomas. thank you, pierre. and now, china, and what we have learned today about what the chinese will do when their technology call edge is being challenged. crack down. we have evidence tonight that the chinese are embarrassed by the crash of their vaunted high speed bullet train. abc's clarissa ward on how the chinese are trying to spin the storor >> reporter: it was a horrifying scene. one of china's super elite high speed trains smacked into the back of another train that had stalled, killing 39 people. and now china's government is
trying to bury the lead. they sent out instructions to chinese journalists covering the tragedy. among the highlights? "do not investigate the causes of the accident." instead, the government says, "concentrate on touching stories," like how people are donating blood. they sin cyinsist "all stor bot do not question, do not elaborate." chi china's bullet train opened earlier this month with much fanfare. an example of china beating the u.s. in a race of technology and inf infrastructure. david muir rode the new train during "world news's" china trip last november. >> reporter: these trains now travel at speeds of up to 230 miles per hour. as china now leapfroro most of the world in building cleaner technology. >> reporter: the crash is not the only story they're trying to
bury. there have been troubling accusations that the rush to beat deadlines has come at stopping safety. i want to show you one of the biggest newspapers here today. it says, "this accident should have never happened. why did it happen?" a very brave headline. diane? >> clarissa, thank you for reporting in from beijing. and now, president obama drove over to the norwegian ambassador's home in washington today. broken by the terror attack rt there and the tragic loss. and stands beside norway. in oslo, the outpouring of grief for the 76 victims continues, this is a country where police rarely even carry guns. a political note now. a democratic congressman is calling it quits after new allegations. david wu from oregon, once in the headline s for dressing up n
a tiger suit, said he will resign as soon as the debt ceiling fight is over. late last week a newspaper in his home state revealed that an 18-year-old woman, a daughter of one of wu's donors, is alleging she had unwanted sexual contact with him. and, for months now, the pressure has been building on fast food restaurants to get on board the fight against childhood obesity, with first lady michelle obama leading the charge. today, the biggest chain of all, mcdonald's, rolled out a new choice.eal, touting change and so, exactly what will kids be getting? here's abc's matt gutman. >> surprise! we're the happy meal guys! >> reporter: starting today, this iconic box of fun is going on a diet. mcdonald's has launched a big campaign to make a small change in the happy meal. the ageless trio -- downsized with the fries portion cut in
half and apple slices added. would you be okay if i took half your fries? no? nay may not like it, but first lady michelle obama, who's hea heading a nationwide campaign against childhood obesity, called the move a positive step. the company says its new meals cut about 100 calories, reduce sodium, and reduce saturated fat by 20%. but many of the meals still weigh in at about 500 calories -- about a third of what a six year old should eat in a day. this is how much sugar is in a happy meal now. >> that includes the french fries, the bun of the burger and the soda that comes with it. and this is a lot of sugar. >> reporter: one of the reasons the company has been accused by parents of contributing to obesity in america. but as we saw on "gma" this morning, one thing mcdonald's won't give up. trying to appeal to kids. >> reporter: why not just stop with the toys? >> well, the toys are an important part of the experience. come on, kids get to have fun, yoyoknow.
>> reporter: which also happens to be what kids care about most. what's the most important part of the happy meal? >> playing. >> reporter: playing, of course. >> reporter: matt gutman, abc news, miami. and still ahead on "world news," women not getting tests from their doctors that could save their lives. why? and what a snoring spouse or a crying baby does to your brain. and which of these vacations will make you happiest? the proven formula. we have it. for the best holiday. at bayer, we've been relieving pain for over 100 years. and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of your tough pain. ♪ in fact, it's clinically proven to relieve pain twice as fast.
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i'm laura, and this is my cvs. it's all mine. in healthy living tonight, word that an astonishing number of doctors are not recommending life-saving tests for women with a family history of breast cancer, and why not? what should patients do? here's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: pat morrow's doctor made a potentially life-saving recommendation, advice we now know more than half of doctors may not pass along to their patients. >> we're going to make sure you're not at risk. >> reporter: pat's doctor recommended she undergo genetic counseling and testing. it's a quick blood test that can tell a woman if she has a certain genetic mutation that wowod automatically make her five times more likely to develop breast cancer than the average woman. >> once the test identifies a mutation in that individual, we can really give that person a percentage of risk.
>> reporter: 12% of all women will develop breast cancer. but of women with this genetic munition, 60% will get bras cancer. a leading panel of health care experts says genetic testing is critical for women with a family history of breast cancer stemming from mutations in the brca1 or 2 gene. but despite that, a new study has found that only 41% of doctors indicated they would recommend testing to high risk women. for women who test positive, and then undergo intensive screening or take preventative measures, they can decrease breast cancer incidence by 95%. they can take drugs that suppress estrogen, make lifestyle changes that limit smoking, drinking, or diet, or in some extreme cases, have preventative mastectomies. >> genetic testing for women can be lifesaving. >> reporter: were you surprised to learn that so many doctors are essentially ignoring the guidelines? >> doctors don't often take the time to get the family history
it takes. and i think a lot of doctors aren't aware of those guidelines or what women are at high risk. >> reporter: it's not just a matter of one person in your family having breast cancer. it's actually a combination of factors, including how many relatives have it and the age they were diagnosed. so, if it is determined you are in fact high risk, you want to talk to your doctor about testing. >> and if in doubt, ask. >> reporter: exactly. >> thank you, linsey. and, coming up, are you ready for this? scientists have chosen the saddest movie scene ever -- ever -- and they say the proof's in the kleenex. want to guess what it is? our pipes just don't work as well as they should. sometimes, i worry my pipes might leak. but i learned there's something more i can do. now, i take care with vesicare. once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks day and night.
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summer plans take them. it pays to switch, it pays to discover. we suspect, like us, you love those all-american postmarks on letters, coffee creek, montana, all good, alabama. but as we told you last night, nearly 3700 postofficers have been put on notice they will be shut down in if coming year. and that's 12% of post offices nationwide. most of them in small towns. they'll be replaced by solitary postal clerks manning outposts at gas stations and libraries to sell stamps and ship packages. so, to see if your post office is on the list, go to our website. and, we have news tonight that crying babies and snoring spouses have something in common. they both change the way our brains work, by interrupted a good night's sleep. a new study finds that being awakened during the night
prevents brains from forming memories. the same affect as alcohol, inducing a kind of sleep deprived amnesia. even if you make up the lost sleep later. and, as we said, scientists now think they are quantify what they call the kleenex factor, the single saddest movie of all-time. the saddest movie scene. here is the movie scene that topped the list of tears. >> can't wake up! wake up! >> that's "the champ," from 1979. so, tell us if you think this is it, or if you have another vote. it's online at abcnews.com. we want to tally up your votes and tomorrow night, we'll report in the on what all of you had to say. and coming up, the new and proven formula for a wonderful vacation. how many days, what should you do?
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it's supposed to be a great escape, but for so many of us -- it's just exhausting. on day three of their new york vacation. >> it's like, "are we there yet? are we there yet? is it far? i'm hungry. i'm thirsty." >> reporter: the good news, scientifically, it should get better. researchers found we're least happy on the second and third days of our vacation. that's when we're most likely to be tired, get sick, or pick up a bug from our new surroundings. and our happiness peaks when we've unwound and oriented. typically the day before we go home. so, back to the clines. how long do they need to get away to get the most out of it? well, it turns out, more days doesn't mean more happiness. scientists found short trips, two to six days, are actually the most beneficial to our well being. frequent, shorter trips gives us something to look forward to. and researchers found most people actually enjoy planning
their vacation more than the vacation itself. the anticipation, it seems is often sweeter than the reality. and while many of us dream of lounging by the pool with a good book, pretending the shrieking kids belong to someone else, scientists say we should really put down our books and get up. studies show vacations that involve activities actually bring us more happiness. and when it's time to go home, don't do it on a sunday. it's the surest way to lead to a post-holiday mood crash. instead, experts say come homee on thursday or friday, giving you a few days to re-enter reality and recover from vacation. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> and we're so glad you watched. "nightline" later. we'll see you tomorrow.